We have all had tough times, tough days, months, and even years. As you may or may not know, 2019 was one of the toughest years of my life. A very significant relationship came to an unexpected conclusion at the end of 2018 which catapulted me into one of the darkest periods of my life. I spent most of 2019 trying to navigate my way through each day and pull myself out of that gloomy space. But with those arduous times, came some amazing lessons that I want to share with you today. My hope is that you can gain some insight from my year to see how to get through a tough time when it inevitably rolls your way.
Here are my top lesson I learned during the hardest year of my life to date:
Read: 6 Lessons Learned During the Hardest Year of my Life (To Date)
It’s OK to not be okay
This may sound so obvious, but for me it wasn’t. The reminder that it’s OK to have days when I’m just NOT okay. They’re normal and they may even seem to come out of nowhere and be bookended by days where I feel fine. But the feelings of hurt, pain, grief, and just general “not okay-ness” are a part of the path to healing. Don’t try to wish them away.
The right people will stick by you
I often found myself worried that I would push the people in my life away by my need to vent, cry, or complain. Sure, some people WILL walk away, but the ones who you actually want beside you during this time are the ones who won’t walk away. The ones who will support you, listen to you, and offer a shoulder to cry on will not leave you to sulk alone. Take note who these people are and fuel more of your energy into those people.
Sticking with my routines were necessary
I have my morning routine: wake up, journal, meditate, workout, shower, walk the dog, coffee. I also have my evening routine: drink tea, take off makeup, brush teeth, let out dog, read, journal, sleep. These routines were critical. Even on the days when I just didn’t FEEL like working out, I did it anyway. I knew the endorphins would get pumping and help me feel better, even for a little bit. (Need some meditation support, check out one of my guided meditations.)
It’s safe to seek support
There are people who want to and are available to help. Seek them out. We can only do so much for ourselves and there is nothing wrong with that. Don’t be afraid to find a professional to talk to. Friends can be great, but a therapist can help you dig deeper and may notice something that a biased friend may not. It’s safe to take that step.
Puppies provide great comfort
Okay, my feelings are slightly contradictory here, but hear me out. Animals are a great therapy with their unconditional love, support, and at the very least, snuggles. They’re also a lot of work and what I wouldn’t necessarily recommend is adopting a dog when you’re still in the thick of healing. My patience and energy were low for a dog who would nearly rip my arm off with every trip outside, and there was a day that I was crying on the couch and he walked AWAY from me and went to another room. But on that same note, he got me out of bed many mornings that I probably would have wasted the day without moving. In many ways, that time together bonded us greater. Now, he’s known to snuggle up next to me when I’m sad, crying, or having a rough day. If you don’t have an animal or can’t afford one (time-wise or financially), you could try volunteering at a shelter, offering to dog sit for friends and neighbors, or visiting “cat cafe” in your area.
Give yourself grace
Last but certainly not least, give yourself grace. It’s a tough time and it won’t be any easier if you’re being hard on yourself or feeling like you should be further along in your healing. Take it one day and one moment at time. You will get through this, but it won’t happen any quicker or easier without grace.
What lessons have your tough times taught you?